Print 31 comment(s) - last by NoCashBob.. on May 8 at 2:33 PM

Nintendo DLC now pirate booty

Even the current generation of consoles is not immune to piracy. The Wii especially is a big target for pirates, thanks to a large user base.

Just months after the launch of the Wii in November 2006, crafty developers had created a modchip that allows the console to run bootleg game copies. Nintendo responded by making its hardware more difficult to interface with modifications, though not impossible.

Up to this point, however, most piracy occurred on the physical media level. Pirates would create near-duplicates of retail discs.

The latest development is now in digital downloads. Last month, the console hacking community successfully extracted Wii Virtual Console titles. Through the use of a special WAD packer that would make the Virtual Console download installable on a Wii that did not originally purchase the title.

The ability to rip and install Virtual Console titles led to the latest effort this month to bring WiiWare titles onto unauthorized Wiis. Thus far, only a couple of WiiWare titles from Japan (a ping pong game and Pokemon game) have been ripped and released on the Internet.

With the use of a patching tool, the Japanese WiiWare titles are made playable on North American Wii consoles.

While it’s safe to say that most of the recent Wii hacking will lead to piracy of paid downloads, a segment of console modders will put their efforts towards homebrew applications. In fact, modders have posted a YouTube video showing off an early version of a homebrew channel that could run applications such as ScummVM.

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RE: A Shame
By mars777 on 5/6/2008 3:47:06 PM , Rating: 1
Then 200,000 ppl who were looking at buying the game, decide to download it from me instead. You telling me this wouldn't affect the company? At $50 a copy, that's $10 million dollars lost.

It's not quite lost, because they didn't get the money yet in the first place.

It's a loss of possible profit. If nobody bought the game except you then it would not be a loss ayway :D

RE: A Shame
By afkrotch on 5/6/2008 4:33:53 PM , Rating: 2
It's a loss. They gave the game out expecting money and if they didn't get the money, they lost it.

RE: A Shame
By Shawn5961 on 5/6/2008 5:57:00 PM , Rating: 2
That's not technically a loss. It's failure to produce revenue, not negative revenue.

To put it simply, by your reasoning, when I play the lottery, if I expect to win and don't, I am still legally entitled to the money.

In the sense of software companies, that's like saying, "Hey, five people bought this, but twenty should have, so we need that money." The big problem in the whole situation being that there was no money to begin with.

One thing companies never learn. Just because somebody downloads a pirated copy of something, doesn't mean they would have spent money on it if it wasn't available for free download.

RE: A Shame
By robinthakur on 5/7/2008 6:57:50 AM , Rating: 2
I also beg to differ. The way you have construed it is incorrect and I don't think that all the recent claims by music companies etc that they have tangibly lost money from piracy can have any credence unless its in a market like say, China where the originals are not obtainable freely. How on earth can you prove that the people pirating the work would actually pay money for it if they didn't rip it off. Maybe people are just more discerning about what they pay for now?

When you pirate lots of things (like everything you play, listen to or watch), the value of each item naturally drops, after all you go it for free and you start acquiring stuff you might just play once then delete or archive to media and never touch again. This has happened and is happening across the world for more than a decade and has led to a general devaluation of music, games and movies in the minds of the consumer. It has nothing to do with the individual's ability to pay for the item. In the UK newspapers have started to give away cds and dvds with some editions for 'free' (e.g. Prince's last album) and this has a similar effect. A not inconsiderable amount of people have not bought a music cd since the mid-90's when mp3's became commonplace, and generations after mine might never by one. Ever. People are also used to getting content free through their experience on the internet where alot of things are still free.

Therefore, whilst its unquestionably wrong, criminal and unlawful to pirate content, putting an actual figure on how much piracy is detracting from revenues is all but impossible because the attitude of the public to paying for content has fundamentally changed in the last 2 decades. This is one reason why Nintendo (to name but one) is successful, because it spreads its net wide and targets people to whom piracy is still not common-place. The Wii has been modchippable for a while now, yet piracy is not big on it which tells you everything you need to know.

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone
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